Letter 317

• 317. Caroline to Wilhelm Schlegel in Berlin: Jena, 18–? May 1801

[Jena] 18 [–?] May [18]01

|139| Your letter of 9 May with the enclosures for Friedrich Tiek took a full week to arrive, [1] so I received it on Saturday just as Schelling was about to ride over to Weimar. [2] I related the entire contents to him, especially Cotta’s sacred interest in Shakespeare, which he himself, not least because of general considerations, had already sufficiently comprehended.

I want to let you know what he brought back. First, the news we anticipated, namely, that |140| Cotta, too, has withdrawn. [3]

Schelling then spoke with him for an hour about the reasons. I had related to him your own initial story of the matter so that if Cotta had received any false information he might correct and supplement it. As it turns out, though, Cotta did indeed know the truth and had, it seems, carried on extensive negotiations concerning it with Unger. What emerged is that Unger attributed everything to earlier tensions and to his own momentary impetuosity.

And that, furthermore, the matter really did profoundly vex Unger. The solemn admonition in your billet, the demand to see the books, something he himself admittedly had offered quite without thinking insofar as it was something an upright man otherwise usually never does among booksellers — and then the hasty trial. Grattenauer’s initial, quite cordially written missive presumably came to him precisely during this period of craziness, and he viewed it as a mere formality.

He completely conceded the coarseness of his own billet. He would, however, have sent you money if your own billet had not been sent. He claimed, albeit again without really doing so, that he wanted to demonstrate to Cotta from his bookkeeping that only 400 copies of the last volumes of Shakespeare had been sold, though, by the way, instead of discouraging him he instead encouraged him. —

Cotta’s own view was the following: Everything was caused by personal tensions, without which it really never would have progressed so far, and as far as that is concerned he was wholly inclined to believe that Madam Unger was a canaille — that he had never yet heard a different assessment of her from anyone.

But Unger was allegedly a completely honest man, and you really should have maintained the same relationship with him as did, on the whole, Fichte as well, for example, in whose case there have indeed been several smaller subsequent printings without any previous notification — indeed, he even did a subsequent printing of Schiller’s Wallenstein without saying a word about it to Schiller himself until after the book fair etc.

In a word, |141| you complained about it right at the outset in far too strained and mistrustful a fashion, and at the very least it surprised Unger such that he also immediately blurted out his offer to let you see the books. Unger allegedly had no intention of trying to hide anything. And he also pointed out that he is paying you more now.

The way Cotta now assesses the publishing business, the mood toward Unger, and the general current circumstances, it would be extremely hard for you to find a proper publisher. In any event, he finally came out with the offer to function as a mediator between you and Unger, and did so in a way that led Schelling to believe that Unger’s own inclinations must have tended in that direction. He strongly emphasized that the entire quarrel had greatly upset Unger.

It is quite unlikely that your requests arrived in time to find Tiek still in Leipzig, and even in a general sense, such business is not really Tiek’s strength in any case. [4] Hence I am presuming that nothing further transpired. Vieweg would be the only person inclined to undertake something against Unger. Schelling says that Perthes does not have sufficient fonds for this undertaking and is moreover in the service of your enemies. [5]

Cotta readily conceded that the project is something quite solid.

So what can be done now? You may well harvest some ill feeling after this possible failure and the offering of a subscription. [6] Schelling is advising a quiet pause and ultimately a reunion with Unger. He will gladly relate the necessary details to Cotta so that you do not have to do it. [7]

I really do not know the extent to which you want to and can accept this advice. If the trial issues in your favor, then it is possible. [8] You will not want to slow down its course now. I cannot tell you how this stupid affair has made all of us crazy here. It goes without saying that one should by no means lose courage because of it [9] – |142| but if things progress so far that Shakespeare were to come to a halt, a project which, after all, essentially constitutes your official vocation and occupation, that infamous bunch would rejoice in approximately the same fashion as when Fichte gave up his professorship here. [9a]

I really would like to speak with you about this in person. [10] — I cannot really recall what transpired with the letters a year ago, since I was sick around just that time. [11] — Were you not angry that Unger did not want to entertain any of your suggestions? [12]

Let me ask only that in the future you keep yourself apart and completely self-contained as far as your business matters are concerned. Without the alien weft, the fabric you yourself weave would be considerably purer from the outset.

Be not angry, my dear Schlegel, nor suspect that I am trying to draw you away from your friends — but of what service is it to you if you have such aggravation? Does friendship really require this sort of activity and sharing of interest? Friedrich certainly does know how to be a friend — but consider the lilies of the field, they toil not, and yet our heavenly father nourishes them. [13] Consider that you alone, completely for yourself, could have had at least a superficial cordial relationship with Unger as well.

If I am viewing things wrongly here in your opinion, scold me not, since I am merely trying to keep your best interests at heart without causing anyone else ill.

I am extremely happy that you under no circumstances are considering a critical work, and the project involving a tragedy by Euripides also seem promising to me. [14] It is merely that this primary element will always remain the torso of your fame, so to speak, it already has a head and hands and feet. If assets must in the meantime be consumed, what does it matter? I no longer have any particular obligations to keep together that which I possess, nor can it be better employed than in creating leisure for you to whatever extent it can.

|143| I cannot doubt that Unger will go ahead and pay you the 30 louis d’or, otherwise I would send you the money in natura. [15]

One thing I did do, though, since Philipp had a considerable sum of money to demand from Hufeland: I wrote him that if Hufeland had not yet paid him, he should give you power of attorney to have it paid out to you and to arrange it such that we then would owe Philipp 100 rh. Then you can go ahead and settle with Hufeland. [16] Of course, it is quite possible that Philipp already has the money and cannot do without it amid the current circumstances and inflation. [17]

You saw from Friedrich’s note how much I have received and will yet receive. If Fromman brings the 12 Carolin, I would very much like to pay Madam Niethammer — 1 louis d’or is still outstanding from the previous rent. [18] I have already put aside the 4 louis d’or for Succow.

For me and Rose I will not be needing much over 3 louis d’or per month for the entirety of household expenses, but since I have gotten into debt with Luise, I will also have to take care of her for 2 months as well. I also had to purchase some things that were simply necessary — including, since it just happened to be market time, some glasses for several rh. I was thinking about how you teased me over that initial, splendid purchase of glasses, and I had to smile — though I could just as easily have wept — over this refrain of fate; you will doubtless think again that I bought too many. I do not know why this always happens to me with glasses. These will surely not break again so soon. [19]

As far as the related happiness is concerned — that has been broken and cannot be replaced. By the way, do not be concerned on account of the beautification measures I mentioned recently in anticipation of Unzelinette. [20] I have not yet even written regarding the porcelain, |144| nor do I intend to do so before you come. Madam Niethammer is having the alcove room painted over. My own can stay as it is. [21]

You must have received a great many letters from me since the 9th, since I wrote almost every postal day. At that time, the package with Fichte’s piece does not seem to have been in your hands yet, the one in which I had also enclosed a letter. Since then I have out of uncertainty addressed some of your letters to your old logis, thinking that you had probably left forwarding instructions there. [22]

Your enclosure for Friedrich caused me great embarrassment — I was sorely tempted to keep it but ultimately did not think I really had the authority, so went ahead and sent it on. If you were responding solely to his mention of the awkwardness and reserve between us, then it is fine — but if as a complaint and awkwardness from my side, then it is quite ill for me. Everything that was to be done had, since my letter, to be done from his side, and there was nothing further he was entitled to say except: “It is not you two who have a right to complain.” [23]

Now, admittedly, he will probably have to come out against you. But you, my friend, will best not want to prompt me in any wise to address that issue. The general peace will surely obtain much better without the general community situation, and you will see that you can remain completely free alongside my reasonable position of reserve. I was discretion, consideration, and, at the beginning, the most genuine friendship itself in my relationship with Friedrich and Madam Veit. You have once again acquired such a degree of justified benevolence for me that you will surely not mix my relationship with you into that one. [23a]

Schelling gave Goethe the letters to Tiek. They did not know yet that he would be coming there. [24] Mephistopheles, |145| that is, Meyer, expressed a bit of envy. This little turtle, why can he himself do nothing but be witty? And criticize? He remarked with derision that he — Tiek — was merely imitating Giulio Romano. Indeed, if he but could. Nor does Goethe allow himself to be led astray by such comments.

Kilian lectured here in his own apartment since he was not supposed to do so publicly. [25] New denunciation by Gruner and suspension by the faculty. [26] Now they are trying to win over the duke personally against him just as against Fichte. It will probably be brought before all the royal courts, and Hufeland believes that in the end he will nonetheless be able to get it through; but is it not disgraceful?

Loder becomes involved in everything, but does so such that he immediately pulls his hands back out again — in Weimar he himself told Schelling that, yes, he was merely trying extract himself from it. How nice, the way they themselves utter these maxims. —

Now I will relate an anecdote to you for Fichte. Vermehren wanted to lecture in Fichte’s former lecture hall, but as a result of an extremely impertinent gesture on the part of the owner (Fichte’s former famulus), [27] he found the room locked on the first day and was thus unable to lecture that day. Everyone who had any part in the hall now left as one, and Vermehren chose Schütz’s auditorium, had already posted an announcement of his debut [28] in which there was something about the lofty emotion associated with occupying Fichte’s university chair — a formulation that every single person who lectures there has used as currency — and then reads that from Schütz’s own — chair. Luise heard this story yesterday at the Hufelands’ from several gentlemen who were there.

We have the Sonnenklarer Bericht [29] — but do tell, what is it that drives Fichte to cast his doctrine and teaching down at people’s feet like a sack of wool and then to pick it up and |146| throw it down in front of them yet again? All that takes an unspeakable amount of patience, and in the final analysis — for crying out loud — if they do not understand it, what does it matter? and who can seriously want to force them to in any event?

I made enormous fun of it, and though Schelling merely glanced at it, I read it through. What a funny predilection it is.

Fichte also wrote something contra Reinhold; [30] Cotta, at whose cost it was published in the first place, only learned about it in Leipzig, [31] remarking, “Well, that is certainly the proper relationship between bookseller and writer.”

Fichte and Schleiermacher are probably not seeing each other at all, are they? The latter’s Reden were reviewed in the Göttinger Anzeigen, perhaps by your brother. [32]

Did you see the review of Athenäum in the Erlanger Zeitung? [33] The best thing for you is not to send anything at all to them; nothing proper will ever come of that journal, and one is better advised simply to keep one’s hands clean. [34]

One must make the sign of the cross over Huber, for he has been nailed to a cross, for he is a pathetic rogue. [35] He no doubt considers Merkel to be an upright, impartial man. [35a]

Schelling asks that you have Fichte give you the new issue of his Journal if you have even a little time you might devote to it. [36] Although Fichte will perhaps not read it at all, if you are in a position anytime soon to relate what he does think about it, it would be interesting to hear.

Since one really should concern oneself with one another’s activities as is proper, let me tell you only, my dear Wilhelm, that Schelling has been reading this issue with me line by line, and that things truly are beginning to become clear to me in a quite new way. There is something truly blissful about learning to understand, when an obscure concept is illuminated and one finally beholds the serenity of the concept itself.

Insofar as the loftiest is not too lofty for — the modest person who is writing you this letter — I am indeed also able to comprehend |147| this strict deduction — particularly since it has been explained to me in so vivid a fashion, along with the image of the world that has been, as it were, isolated or freed from all subjective elements — am able to comprehend all this better than the Sonnenklarer Bericht

And how serene and calm does it render one’s disposition. Indeed, I do believe in the heaven in Spinoza’s soul, whose One-and-All is doubtless that earlier primal feeling that is now also pushing toward the light in Schelling as well. [37]


Apropos, does the form of the “Darstellung” not also seem barbaric to you? Although it did admittedly appear that way to me at first glance, I cannot really reproach it considering the purpose, as little as I can reproach a book on arithmetic for having numbers. And I would certainly be interested in knowing whether there really could be any other form than a mathematical one for the speculation — poesy = revelation. [38]


Let us now turn our attention to several others matters in the house.

Among your invoices, I found a wine order concerning a small cask that must have arrived a few days before your departure. I am guessing you left that to Friedrich, since I have found nothing except the unpaid invoice. I did not order any from Salzburg. [39] Loder told me that one could get the same Ofner wine in Erfurt. So I got in touch with them to get a small quantity, [40] for the time being only for Schelling, who, of course, has hitherto been supporting the ladies with wine and mareschino. [41]

Please but listen to the one thing that I cannot possibly keep inside until you come — My sofa was completely ruined, and yet after my departure I had arranged to have it immediately restuffed, something which, at least according to the invoice of the leather-worker, was indeed done. I stared at the thing for a long time without knowing what to think and finally asked Rose about it — |148| After you were gone, Friedrich turned my room into his sleeping chamber and had the beds put on top of the sofa. Now, is that not in truth extremely ill-mannered of our “divine philosopher” — and wholly contrary to the courtesy he owes to both you and me? [41a]


My dearest, most dear friend, your amours have become desperate and have turned to me in precisely that desperazion. [42] I honestly and verily received a letter from Dame Nuys — whom I had neither visited nor seen again except for having paid her a visit the last day I was in Braunschweig. [43] — Which she “greatly regrets” having missed — and then suddenly comes at me with several requests. I am to send her the most recent issue of Athenäum — namely, “either on loan or as a gift” — and though you have “not written a word” to her, she nonetheless sends her regards — saying also that you should “not go to any more trouble” with Parny. All of it written quite sweetly and quite stiffly stylized. [44]

If you do not believe me, I will send you the letter itself. But how should I now reply? Anything you wish, except that you should not write her yourself. Nor do you really want or intend to — is that not true? I cannot abide her. But do go ahead and bring Unzeline. I am sure I will be fond of her.

The Mereaus have gotten a divorce. She has gone to her married sister in Kamburg along with her child and 200 rh. pension. Mereau himself related to Schelling the entire course of things in French at the Erbprinz. [45]

They were separated par le chemin de la grace (which is also le chemin de la disgrace) directly by the prince, solely on the basis of their mutual agreement on this point. [46] Both are now free to remarry, and Mereau is already looking around to see whom he might want to devour, all the while still saying j’ai aimé beaucoup ma femme, je l’aime encore et je l’aimerai toujours. [47]

Et moi je suis dans le train d’écrire toujours, c’est à |149| dire continuellement. [48]

Stay well, dear Wilhelm. Come soon. I wish I could undo what has happened with the Shakespeare project. But in any event do not imagine that we in any way share Cotta’s guild-oriented and partisan view of the matter.

My mother wrote today. She is well, but Philipp’s young boys, Gustav Adolph and Eduard Conradin, were both mortally ill, and she is beginning to understand that there is distress everywhere.

Again, stay well, give my regards to Sophie Bernhardi. [49] Please do write and let me know approximately when you are thinking of coming, and above all, really do come. [50]

Please bring Luise a bouquet of white flowers of the sort one puts on a cap. Unzeline will know what I am referring to; there is a factory there. And then the cups for me and a centennial silver Thaler for Emma. [51]

I am not including any enclosures simply in order to save postage, since I do, after all, have to pay double.

[Later sheet.]

If you have not yet purchased the requested items, might I be allowed to change the bouquet for Luise into a pair of handsome white silken women’s stockings. I am planning to give her a pair of shoes to go with them of the sort I asked you for, since I genuinely do have a pair that are, however, too large for me, nor have I ever even worn them. She really does need both things. [52]

We would also request that you inquire concerning the price of white crêpe-flor through Madam Meyer, and, if it is cheap there, perhaps that you go ahead and order some. [53] Please be so good as not to forget. Madame Wiedemann requests this of you, she who is occasionally also known as Madame Wüthemann. [54]


[1] Although negotiations were being carried on with Friedrich Tieck regarding the sculptural work in the castle construction in Weimar, Caroline is here sooner referring to her and Wilhelm’s negotiations with him concerning a memorial and bust for Auguste. See esp. Tieck’s letter to Wilhelm from Paris on 24 April 1801 (letter 311b) and the cross references there. The enclosures were presumably graphic examples and drafts concerning this work for Auguste. Back.

[2] Caroline is writing on Monday; on the preceding Saturday evening, 16 May, Schelling had attended a performance of Wallenstein in Weimar with Johann Friedrich Cotta and then dined with both Cotta and Goethe at the home of Schiller on the Windischengasse (illustration by Ludwig Bartning, in Wilhelm Bode, Stunden mit Goethe: Für die Freunde seiner Kunst und Weisheit [Berlin 1905], following p. 272; house at immediate right):


See Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 15 May 1801 (letter 316), note 3; Schiller’s invitation to Schelling is included there in note 8.

Weimar is located ca. 20 km west of Jena (Post Karte Durch ganz Deutschland, ed. J. Walch [Augsburg 1795]; Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):




[3] Viz., from publishing the remaining volumes in Wilhelm’s translation of Shakespeare. The previous publisher, Johann Friedrich Unger in Berlin, had withdrawn after an awkward quarrel with Wilhelm.

An understanding of Caroline’s lengthy account here presupposes an acquaintance with that quarrel. See Wilhelm’s account in his letter to Caroline on 18 April 1801 (letter 309), and his attempt to interest Cotta in the project in his letter to the latter on 23 April 1801 (letter 310c); see esp. also the account of the quarrel with Unger in supplementary appendix 309.1. Back.

[4] Wilhelm had wanted Ludwig Tieck to query publishers at the Leipzig book fair concerning the remaining volumes of the translation of Shakespeare; see Wilhelm’s letter to him on 7 May 1801 (letter 313a). Tieck responded to Wilhelm in early June 1801 (letter 319a), but much too late for Wilhelm’s expectations. See Wilhelm’s letter to him on 7 May 1801, note 4, concerning his ire and also concerning the resolution of the quarrel with Unger, whose company eventually published the next volume (vol. 9) after all, the last volume with which Wilhelm himself was involved, albeit not until 1810. Back.

[5] Either Johann Georg Justus Perthes in Gotha (according to Erich Schmidt, [1913], 2:710, s.v. Perthes, J. G. J.) or, more likely, Friedrich Perthes in Hamburg, who had published Schelling’s Von der Weltseele. Eine Hypothese der höhern Physik zur Erklärung des allgemeinen Organismus (Hamburg 1798), and who similarly published Wilhelm’s play Ion: ein Schauspiel (Hamburg 1803), which is mentioned later in this letter. The reference to Wilhelm’s enemies is uncertain. Back.

[6] In his letter to Ludwig Tieck on 7 May 1801 (letter 313a), Wilhelm had declared that

[i]f I cannot come to terms with any publisher, then I will take it over myself and offer the books to readers on cash in advance [i.e., subscription]; and if my esteemed countrymen do not support me in an appropriate fashion, then I will simply let it lie, and they can kiss my behind! Back.

[7] As mentioned above, Wilhelm and Unger eventually reconciled. Back.

[8] It did not, and Wilhelm lost his case. See supplementary appendix 309.1 (courtroom illustration: Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki, “Die Geldstrafe vor Gericht,” Kupfersammlung zu J[ohann] B[ernhard] Basedows Elementarwerke für die Jugend und ihre Freunde: Erste Lieferung in 53 Tafeln. Zweyte Lieferung in 47 Tafeln von L bis XCVI [Leipzig, Dessau, Berlin 1774], plate XXXIV):



[9] Wilhelm did indeed lose his enthusiasm for the project and was involved in only the next volume, vol. 9, which did not appear until 1810. As Josef Körner points out, (1930), 60,

the party that suffered most in what was in truth a merely trifling affair was German literature, since this quarrel caused an irremediable interruption in Schlegel’s magnificent translation work, mutilating it and reducing it to a torso. Back.

[9a] Concerning the end of Fichte’s teaching career in Jena, see supplementary appendix 215a.1. Back.

[10] Caroline’s remark here is remarkably perceptive, since of all his writing, Wilhelm’s translation work — esp. but certainly not limited to Shakespeare — proved to be that by which he is best remembered, what she calls the “torso of your fame.” Back.

[11] I.e., during the spring of 1800, when Caroline was ill with nervous fever (illustration from Christophe Schmid [Christoph von Schmid], La guirlande de houblon [1836], Oeuvres choisies, vol. 4, new ed. [Tours 1867], plate following p. 262):



[12] Uncertain allusion; no correspondence between Wilhelm and Unger during 1800 seems to be extant. Back.

[13] Matt. 6:28–30 (NRSV), from the Sermon on the Mount (illustration: anonymous, Bergpredigt [ca. 1551–75]; Herzog August Bibliothek; Museums./Signatur Graph. Res. C: 93.2 unten):


And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of those. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you — you of little faith? Back.

[14] Concerning Caroline’s approval of Wilhelm’s decision not to spend further time on critical works (i.e., works of literary criticism), see her and Dorothea Veit’s entreaties to Schleiermacher and Wilhelm at the beginning of supplementary appendix 280.2.

The “tragedy by Euripides” is referring to plans for Wilhelm’s adaptation Ion: ein Schauspiel (Hamburg 1803) to which he had only alluded. Considerably more is said about this play in coming letters. Back.

[15] Latin, here: “in-kind payment.” The reference is to financial support. Back.

[16] Erich Schmidt, (1913), 2:693, identifies this incident as a reference to the physician Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland, rather than to the Jena professor Gottlieb Hufeland, albeit in the midst of several references to Gottlieb Hufeland that are misidentified in the index as references to the physician Hufeland. The reference is, however, to the physician Hufeland, who in the meantime had moved to Berlin.

The nature of the debt is not known except that it involved Caroline’s prolonged illness during the spring of 1800, during which Hufeland, among others, treated her for nervous fever. Caroline mentions this issue again in her letter to Wilhelm on 1 June 1801 (letter 319), though on that occasion, because Philipp has in the meantime indeed written that he needs the money himself, she urges Wilhelm to “please do pay Hufeland as soon as you can. His wife has once again become a bit crazy.” She also mentions the matter in her letter to Wilhelm on 12 June 1801 [letter 320]) in connection with a debt to the physician Succow. Back.

[17] Because of military and political developments in and around Hamburg and the Prussian occupation of Hannover. Back.

[18] The Niethammers owned the house at Leutragasse 5. Back.

[19] Glassmakers at the time (Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki, (Kupfersammlung zu J[ohann] B[ernhard] Basedows Elementarwerke für die Jugend und ihre Freunde: Erste Lieferung in 53 Tafeln. Zweyte Lieferung in 47 Tafeln von L bis XCVI [Leipzig, Dessau, Berlin 1774], plate LV):



[20] In her letter to Wilhelm on 7–8 May 1801 (letter 314). Back.

[21] Caroline had mentioned in her letter to Wilhelm on 7–8 May 1801 (letter 314) that “I do not merely want to have my own room painted over with the same green color. If I do keep it and we intend to spend anything on it, it must be made prettier” Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki, Wie er mich würde geliebt haben [1786]; Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum; Museums./Signatur DChodowiecki AB 3.709):



[22] A measure of uncertainty concerning chronology and location obtains with respect to Wilhelm’s change of residences in Berlin, though evidence suggests he was residing with the Bernhardis at latest by early June 1801. See the supplementary appendix on Wilhelm’s residences in Berlin, esp. note 3. Back.

[23] Caroline has already addressed these issues in her letter to Wilhelm on 11 May 1801 (letter 315); see esp. the third paragraph in that letter. Part of the issues involved her “epistolary affair” with Friedrich. Back.

[23a] Wilhelm clearly knew that Caroline and Schelling now had an unequivocally romantic relationship. Back.

[24] Namely, to Weimar to work on the castle renovations. Friedrich Tieck arrived in early September; Wilhelm writes to Ludwig Tieck on 17 September 1801 (Lohner 90): “Your brother arrived in Weimar about two weeks ago now.” Back.

[25] Concerning Konrad Joseph Kilian’s problems in Jena, see Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 20 April 1801 (letter 310), also with note 17 there. Back.

[26] Denunciation in English or French (for dénonciation) in original. Back.

[27] Here: a professor or scholar’s private secretary or attendant. Back.

[28] Auditorium and debut as written in original. Back.

[29] Fichte’s (according to Erich Schmidt, [1913], 2:617) succinctly presumptuous Sonnenklarer Bericht an das grössere Publikum über das eigentliche Wesen der neuesten Philosophie. Ein Versuch den Leser zum Verstehen zu zwingen (Berlin 1801); Eng. trans. “A Crystal Clear Report Concerning the Actual Essence of the Newest Philosophy: An Attempt to Force the Reader to Understand,” trans. John Botterman and William Rasch, in Fichte, Jacobi, and Schelling. Philosophy of German Idealism, ed. Ernst Behler (New York 1987), 39–115.

See William Smith’s remarks in The Popular Works of Johann Gottlieb Fichte, trans. William Smith, 4th ed., 2 vols. (London 1889), 1:117–18:

The first traces of this rise to a higher speculative position are observable in his Bestimmung des Menschen, published in 1800, in which, as we have already said, may be found the most systematic exposition of his philosophy which has been attempted in a popular form.

In 1801 appeared his Antwortschreiben an Reinhold (“Answer to Reinhold“), and his Sonnenklarer Bericht an das grössere Publicum über das eigentliche Wesen der neuesten Philosophie (“Sun-clear Intelligence to the general public on the essential nature of the New Philosophy”). These he intended to follow up in 1802 with a more strictly scientific and complete account of the Wissenschaftslehre, designed for the philosophical reader only.

But he was induced to postpone the execution of this purpose, partly on account of the recent modification of his own philosophical point of view, and partly because the attention of the literary world was now engrossed by the brilliant and poetic Natur-Philosophie of Schelling. Before communicating to the world the work which should be handed down to posterity as the finished institute of his theory, it appeared to him necessary, first of all to prepare the public mind for its reception by a series of introductory applications of his system to subjects of general interest.

But this purpose was also laid aside for a time, — principally, it would seem, from dissatisfaction with the reception which his works had hitherto received, from the harassing misconceptions and misrepresentations which he had encountered, and from a doubt, amounting almost to hopelessness, of making his views intelligible to the general public. These feelings occasioned a silence of four years on his part, and are characteristically expressed in the prefaces to several of his subsequent works. Back.

[30] Fichte’s Antwortschreiben an Herrn Professor Reinhold auf dessen Sendschreiben an den erstern (Response to Herr Professor Reinhold and his missive to the former) (Tübingen 1801) in response to Karl Leonhard Reinhold’s “Sendschreiben an den Herrn Professor Fichte über die zweyte Recension von Bardilis Grundriss u. s. w. in der Erlang. Litt. Zeitung N. 214. und 215.,” in Beyträge zur leichtern Uebersicht des Zustandes der Philosophie beym Anfange des 19. Jahrhunderts 1 (Hamburg 1801) (Contributions to a better overview of the condition of philosophy at the beginning of the 19th century), 113–34, which had also attacked Schelling in “Ideen zu einer Heautogonie oder natürlichen Geschichte der reinen Ichheit, genannt, reine Vernunft,” ibid., 135–54.

Concerning Christoph Gottlieb Bardili, see Schelling’s letter to Wilhelm on 10 November 1800 (letter 274), note 5, and Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm Schlegel on 1–2 March 1801 (letter 293), note 24. Back.

[31] I.e., during the book fair. Back.

[32] The review of Schleiermacher’s Reden in the Göttingische Anzeigen von gelehrten Sachen (1801) 69 (30 April 1801), 681–87, was not by Friedrich Schlegel. The review begins:

This piece has undeniably been written with considerable spirit, originality, and eloquence, and even if what the author presents as religion is not such for some readers, they will nonetheless find much here that is both applicable to religion in the customary sense and expressed with both accuracy and truth. Back.

[33] Athenaeum (1799) and (1800) were reviewed anonymously with critical praise in the Erlanger Litteratur Zeitung 5 (1801) 76 (20 April 1801), 601–7. One of the editors, Gottlieb Ernst August Mehmel, had solicited Wilhelm’s participation in the journal back on 26 July 1800 just after he, Mehmel, had assumed a position as co-editor (Josef Körner, [1930], 116).

Wilhelm wrote to Mehmel from Berlin on 1 June 1801 concerning the review (Josef Körner, [1930], 1:124–26, here 125):

I can offer only preliminary thanks for the review of Athenaeum you published in your newspaper, since although I have indeed heard good things about it, I have not yet read it myself, having not yet been able to make any proper arrangements during my temporary sojourn here for regularly reading scholarly journals. Back.

[34] Although Wilhelm had promised several reviews for the journal, he ultimately never contributed anything. The journal, conceived as a competitor to the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, which had proven unreceptive to post-Kantian philosophy, folded in mid-1802, as Caroline quite rightly anticipated. Concerning the Romantics’ association with this short-lived journal, see Rudolf Haym’s account of the Romantics and the Erlanger Litteratur-Zeitung. Back.

[35] In 1798 Huber accepted Johann Friedrich Cotta’s offer to edit the “Allgemeine Zeitung,” first in Tübingen, then in Stuttgart, and from 1803 in Ulm (he died in December 1804). At the same time, Huber contributed reviews to other periodicals, two of which, notably, were quite critical of the Schlegels; see supplementary appendix 256.1 and supplementary appendix 256.2.

Wilhelm writes to Gottlieb Mehmel on 1 June 1801 excusing himself for not having turned in various reviews for the Erlanger Litteratur-Zeitung as promised (Josef Körner, (1930), 125):

Although I genuinely did compose a review of Huber’s Erzählungen [eventually 3 vols. (Braunschweig: Vieweg, 1801–2)], Herr Huber wrote a letter to Herr Merkel concerning a review of those stories by Merkel himself that Merkel in his own turn then published in his periodical, whereby Herr Huber has in my opinion now openly declared in which class he would like to be reckoned. Hence it is no longer appropriate or even seemly for me to take even the least notice of his writing in the future.

Merkel had reviewed Huber’s Erzählungen in his Briefe an ein Frauenzimmer über die neuesten Produkte der schönen Literatur in Deutschland 2 (Berlin 1801), no. 6, 365–78, as letter 23, dated “12 February 1801.” He then published Huber’s letter to the editor of 12 April 1801 in ibid., no. 8, 535.

Huber soon wholly transferred his allegiance to the Romantics’ adversaries, publishing, among other things, unfavorable reviews in August von Kotzebue and Merkel’s periodical Der Freimüthige 117, 119, of Wilhelm’s Ion (Hamburg 1803) and Spanisches Theater (Berlin 1803).

Concerning Caroline’s expression “pathetic rogue,” der Schächer (archaic): see The New and Complete Dictionary of the German and English Languages composed chiefly after the German Dictionaries of Mr. Adelung and of Mr. Schwan, ed. John Ebers, vol. 3: S–Z [Leipzig 1799], 37, s.v. Schächer:

The Thief on the Cross, the two thieves that were put to the Cross at the same Time with Jesus Christ. — They say familiarly and jokingly, der Schächer, the Thief, the Rogue, the Knave.

Grimm, Deutsches Wörterbuch, s.v. Schächer, points out that after the word was early used to refer to a robber or murderer in the usual sense (the etymology suggests the original meaning was “to rob,” in the sense of “seize quickly”), this sense of “criminal, malefactor, felon, wrongdoer” receded before that of a “wretched, pitiful, pathetic person.” That is, Caroline is here taking a hard, cutting, even condescending shot at Huber.

Various translations have been used over the years in both German and English biblical translations; both the original Greek and Luther, Die gantze Heilige Schrifft Deudsch (Wittenberg 1545) (Ausgabe letzter Hand), are indicated below.

See Luke 23:39–43 (NRSV):

One of the criminals [Gk. κακουργος; Luther: Vbeltheter (Übeltäter)] who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.”

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Matt. 27:38–44 (NRSV):

Then two bandits [Gk. ληστης; Luther Mörder] were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.'” The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.

And Mark 15:25–32 (NRSV):

And with him they crucified two bandits [Gk. pl. ληστης; Luther Mörder], one on his right and one on his left. . . . Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.

Here a woodcut rendering by Hans Leonhard Schäufelein, Kreuzigung Christi (1507) (Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum; Museums./Signatur HSchäufelein V 3.5076.22):



[35a] The motto on the title page of Merkel’s periodical was

Impartial, but bold!
Bold, but thoughtful!

In 1806, on the other hand, the anonymous author of Testimonia Auctorum de Merkelio, das ist: Paradiesgärtlein für Garlieb Merkel (Cologne 1806), a collection of in part biting satirical pieces contra Merkel, used the following caricature as his frontispiece:



[36] Zeitschrift für spekulative Physik 2 (Jena, Leipzig 1801), no. 2, with Schelling’s “Darstellung meines Systems der Philosophie,” 1–127. Back.

[37] Readers wishing to read this piece that Schelling apparently went through so carefully with Caroline can find it translated as “Presentation of My System of Philosophy (1801” in The Philosophical Rupture Between Fichte and Schelling: Selected Texts and Correspondence (1800–1802), ed. Michael G. Vater and David W. Wood, Suny Series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy (Albany 2012), 141–205.

Concerning Caroline’s consistent and unerring instinct during her life to live “according to the necessity of one’s nature or essence,” see Jason M. Yonover’s illuminating reading of this passage in “Spinozism around 1800 and Beyond,” in the Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth-Century Women Philosophers in the German Tradition, ed. Kristin Gjesdal and Dalia Nassar (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming) (cited by permission):

Here [scil. “there is something truly blissful about learning to understand, when an obscure concept is illuminated and one finally beholds the serenity of the concept itself”] [Caroline] already seems to hint at Spinoza’s intellectual-ethical project . . . [She] invokes Spinoza by name alongside the shorthand for pantheism, i.e. the “one-and-all” . . . [Her] assertion of “belief” draws her directly into the legacy of Spinozism. In addition to pointing at a Spinozistic pantheism here, she also highlights the link between the intellectual and ethical dimensions of Spinoza’s liberatory thought (“calm,” “heaven,” “soul”), albeit in somewhat Christianized terms. A careful reading of her letters shows she was attracted to Spinoza’s intellectual-ethical undertaking in some form — whether because of a direct encounter with Spinoza’s writings or, more likely, following engagement with contemporary debates around Spinoza. But what does this Spinozistic project, with which she must have been at least somewhat familiar, really comprise? And how exactly might her stated interest in it manifest itself within her correspondence?

First, according to Spinoza, our highest ethical achievement is freedom; but . . . freedom does not mean merely producing decisions in an originary manner. In contrast to, for instance, traditional Cartesian accounts in the European philosophical tradition, Spinoza entirely rejects free will. Freedom for Spinoza instead involves existing according to the necessity of one’s nature or essence. Put more colloquially, for Spinoza freedom is expressing one’s self.

According to Spinoza, the reason we generally do not exist according to the necessity of our nature is that we exist instead according to the necessity of external influence, which estranges us from ourselves. Spinoza’s most relevant rationalist move is to argue that if we better understand the mechanisms that leave us in what he calls “bondage” (servitus) to harmful affects, then we can dampen their power as well as this alienation, and so live in a more suitable manner.

This more suitable manner of living, characterized as free, is directly aligned with affirmative affects and power. The more power we have, the less we are subject to powers that prevent us from expressing ourselves. Spinoza considers knowledge the highest good (summum bonum) because, at least according to the Ethics, it’s most empowering; it allows us to position ourselves appropriately as we recognize how we are externally determined so that we can be internally determined in a manner suitable to ourselves. Precisely this internal determination puts us in the position to reach the ethical summit, i.e., “liberty or blessedness of the soul” (E5pref) — perhaps the “freedom in Spinoza’s soul” that [Caroline] references.

To this end, and on the basis of his alignment of knowledge, the affects, and power, Spinoza advocates a tranquil, liberatory stance that resonates with the one evident in the correspondence of [Caroline Schellilng]. Spinoza strikingly proposes, for instance, that one “consider human actions and appetites as if the subject were lines, surfaces, and solids” (E3pref). The comparably calm perspective [Caroline] develops in her correspondence becomes explicit as early as 1778, in a letter to a friend. She states clearly that “I am not some dreamer or rapturous enthusiast, my thoughts are always the result of reflections that I undertake with — if at all possible — a completely cool disposition” (Ep. 4). . . . In 1783, [Caroline] criticizes the travel writing of a contemporary in the following terms: “She has managed to lift herself into a wonderfully lilting, poetic disposition, and nothing is more pardonable given that she is still so young; but it does need to be moderated; her heart needs to be made more secure and her understanding sharper.” The point is that affective reform and a deeper peace are needed in order to grasp one’s life and context, namely a serenity that would enable understanding or, she clarifies, “the ability to judge people and things according to their true (unpoetic) nature” (Ep. 35). Back.

[38] In the sense of the coincidence of beauty and truth, a notion explicated in Schelling’s System des transcendentalen Idealismus (Tübingen 1800). Back.

[39] The reference is to a smaller cask of wine rather than to a larger barrel (Jan Kupecký and Valentin Daniel Preißler, G. Hieronymus Weber mit Weinglas beim Fass [ca. 1737–45]; Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum; Museums./Signatur VDPreisler AB 3.22):


Caroline had asked Wilhelm whether she should order Hungarian wine from Salzburg in her letter to him on 7–8 May 1801 (letter 314). Back.

[40] Caroline’s order is preserved in a letter to the Ramann Brothers wine merchants in Erfurt dated 15 May 1801 (translation forthcoming when copy of manuscript secured). It will be recalled that Goethe had helped supply Caroline with Hungarian wine during her bout with nervous fever in the spring of 1800, and that such wine was understood as a “fortifying” agent in such instances. See Wilhelm’s letters to Goethe on 23 March 1800 (letter 258v), esp. with note 4, and on 1 April 1800 (letter 259a) and 4 May 1800 (letter 259p).

Concerning red Ofner wines from Hungary, see Robert Druitt, “Report on Cheap Wine, no. X,” Medical Times and Gazette 1 (1865) Saturday, 4 February 1864, 124–26, here 125–26 (illustration: Christoff Weigel, Abbildung Der Gemein-Nützlichen Haupt-Stände Von denen Regenten Und ihren So in Friedens- als Kriegs-Zeiten zugeordneten Bedienten an biß auf alle Künstler und Handwercker Nach Jede Ambts- und Beruffs-Verrichtungen meist nach dem Leben gezeichnet und in Kupfer gebracht etc. [Regenspurg 1698], illustration following p. 534):

One of the commonest and best kinds of red Hungarian wine is that which is called Ofner, from the town of Ofen, near which it is made, and of which some varieties have distinctive names, such as Adlerberg, Bloksberg, Burgerberg, etc., from various hills in the neighbourhood.

My first essay of these was of a specimen of Ofner, price 24s., from Denman, in 1863; of which my note is “apparently pure and full-bodied; not acid, nor astringent, quere sweetish (?), agreeable, and satisfactory.”

Specimens from the same dealer, at the same price, in 1864, sp. gr. 995, alcoholic strength about 21, deserve the same note, except that I should substitute the words “fruity” or “grapy” and “smooth” for “sweetish.”

A specimen of Ofner Adlerberger Auslese, retail price 28s., from Messrs. Azémar, 40, Mark-lane, deserves at least equal praise. Alcoholic strength about 23.

There is also a fine Ofner Auslese, at 36s., No. 31 of Max Greger’s list, which is very good indeed, pure, smooth, and delicate.

I should be inclined to recommend a good Ofner, as I would a good Bordeaux, to any patient whose veins wanted filling with good blood.



[41] Schelling had shipped mareschino to Caroline and the Wiedemanns earlier in Braunschweig; see her letter to him in January 1801 (letter 284). Back.

[41a] Here a young woman on a sofa reads Goethe’s Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (Leipzig 1774; rev. ed. 1786) (Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki, Da sitzt sie schon, die arme Frau / Und liest in Werthers Leiden [1789]; Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum; Museums./Signatur DChodowiecki AB 3.815):



[42] Desperazion so spelled in original. Back.

[43] Caroline mentions this failed visit in her last letter from Braunschweig to Wilhelm, on 20 April 1801 (letter 310). Back.

[44] Here, given the nature of the piece by Parny that Wilhelm reviewed in Athenaeum (see below), Caroline’s sarcastic quip is alluding, with sexual innuendo, to Wilhelm’s amourous relationship with Minna van Nuys.

The reference is to Évariste Désiré de Forges Parny (1753–1814), La guerre des dieux anciens et modernes. Poème en dix chants (Paris 1799), a (according to Erich Schmidt, [1913], 2:617) superficially brazen poem in ten cantos directed against the church in the style of Voltaire’s La Pucelle d’Orléans. Poëme divisé en 15 livres (Louvain 1755) (concerning which see Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 27 April 1801 (letter 312), notes 15 and 16 [also illustrations]).

Goethe writes to Schiller from Weimar on 31 July 1799 (Correspondence Between Goethe and Schiller 2:250):

I knew beforehand that Parny would give you pleasure. He has drawn a number of very good and ingenious motives from his subject, and also describes things very vividly and well.

Only, it seems to me, he is not successful in his disposition and gradation of these motives, on which account the whole lacks unity. It also seems to me that its outward and final purpose of casting the Roman Catholic religion into the mire is more apparent than it is appropriate in a poet. It seemed to me as if this little book might have been written expressly by an order from theo-philanthropists.

Wilhelm characterizes Parny’s piece — banned in France in 1827 — at length in Athenaeum (1800) 252–68 (Sämmtliche Werke 12:92–106) as a merely willful miniature in which the author is not quite up to an otherwise legitimate aesthetic task; Wilhelm does, however, compare it favorably to Voltaire’s piece. For an excerpt from this review, see supplementary appendix 317.1.

His remarks illuminate the angle of vision from which the Jena Romantics, whose interests included not least the relationship between the classical and Christian mythologies and literatures and the concomitant disposition of their respective writers, might view a piece such as Parny’s that pits the ancient gods against Christianity in what was generally viewed as a disrespectful, indecent, blasphemous, and — not least in the overtly erotic illustrations of the edition of 1808 — pornographic fashion.

That Minna van Nuys mentions this piece to Caroline and even asks her to pass along remarks to Wilhelm, Caroline understands as an openly manipulative and intentionally transparent gesture (“written quite sweetly and quite stiffly stylized”) that sufficiently piques her into airing her own remarks here to Wilhelm. See the following paragraph. Back.

[45] Kamburg (today: Camburg) is located ca. 17 km northeast of Jena (Karte des deutschen Reichs, ed. C. Vogel [Gotha 1907], no. 19; illustration after Carl Benjamin Schwarz [ca. 1795]):



Friedrich Schlegel visits Sophie Mereau there later; concerning his romantic interest in her, see the editorial note to Dorothea Veit’s letter to Clemens Brentano on 25 July 1800 (letter 265f).

The Erbprinz (Eng. “Crown Prince”), a hotel in Weimar founded in 1749 and located on the market place just around the corner from Schiller’s rented apartment in the Windischengasse (and later house on the Esplanade).

Madame de Staël stayed there when she arrived in December 1803, and Caroline and Julie Gotter had dinner there and stayed overnight after attending the premiere of Wilhelm’s play Ion on 2 January 1802.

Indeed, the hotel, destroyed during World War 2, was known for the famous personages who had stayed there over the years, including Goethe, Schiller, Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz, and George Eliot, and even named rooms after some of them (Franz Ludwig Güssefeld, Weimar Stadtplan [1784]; illustration from Leo Woerl, ed., Führer durch Weimar und Umgebung, 9th ed. [Leipzig 1907], 17)):



Here the opposite (west and north) sides of market square at the time Caroline and Julie Gotter stayed there; town hall at center (illustration from Wilhelm Bode, Damals in Weimar [Weimar 1912], 20):


Here the Erbprinz entrance at the left at a later period, the Weimar town hall visible in the distance on the Market Square (1932 postcard):


The purported Schiller Room on a later, undated postcard:



[46] Fr., “path of grace/disgrace.” — The nature of the Mereaus’ divorce in the sense of “path of grace” provides a precedent for that between Caroline and Wilhelm.

Here an engraving of normal divorce proceedings — rather than by way of the “path of [ducal] grace” — at the time by Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki (Scheidung [1788], Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum Museums./Signatur DChodowiecki AB 3.775), though Caroline and Wilhelm do ultimately have to deal with the prospect of appearing before the Weimar consistory as in this illustration:


Here Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki’s illustrations of (1) a meeting of hierarchical consistory members ca. 1774, and (2) an individual having to appear before such a consistory (“Ein hierarchisches Konsistorium,” from the Kupfersammlung zu J[ohann] B[ernhard] Basedows Elementarwerke für die Jugend und ihre Freunde: Erste Lieferung in 53 Tafeln. Zweyte Lieferung in 47 Tafeln von L bis XCVI [Leipzig, Dessau, Berlin 1774], plate LXXIII d; Sebaldus vor dem Consistorium [1774]; Herzog August Bibliothek; Museums./Signatur Chodowiecki Sammlung [1-51]; both illustrations Herzog August Bibliothek; Museums./Signatur Chodowiecki Sammlung [1-15]):




[47] Fr., “I loved my wife very much, I still love her, and I will always love her.” Back.

[48] Fr., “And myself? I am in the act of still writing, that is to say: of writing continually.” Back.

[49] Possibly an indication that Wilhelm is already residing with the Bernhardis at Oberwasserstrasse 10; see the supplementary appendix on Wilhelm’s residences in Berlin. Back.

[50] Wilhelm arrived back in Jena on 11 August 1801 but returned permanently to Berlin on 3 November 1801. Back.

[51] Caroline had asked for the replacement porcelain cups (for those Friedrich and Dorothea had allegedly broken) in her letter to Wilhelm on 7–8 May 1801 (letter 314), suggesting first she might write to a source in Braunschweig unless Wilhelm himself could secure them in Berlin. She had requested the century medallion for Emma Wiedemann in her letter to him on 1–2 March 1801 (letter 293).

There were many ways of adorning hats with flowers, though generally artificial flowers were used of the sort produced in Weimar itself in the manufacturing firm of Friedrich Justin Bertuch, in which Christiane Vulpius once also worked. Caroline seems to be aware that a similar factory can be found in Berlin. (Information in notes 51, 52, and 53: personal communication from Sabine Schierhoff.)

Here one of the surviving artificial flower pieces from Bertuch’s factory (Stadtmuseum Weimar in the Bertuch House; photograph Sabine Schierhoff; used by permission):


Caroline is writing in May 1801, and in the May 1801 issue of the Journal des Luxus und der Moden one finds precisely the kind of bouquet to which she seems to be referring. See the illustration there of a young woman dressed for a ball, “Modenberichte. F[ür] d[en] 20ten April 1800 [correct: 1801] (Nebst Kupfertaf[el] 13. Fig. 1 . . .): 1. Büste einer junge Dame in der Ballkleidung . . . ,” Journal des Luxus und der Moden 16 (1801), 283, with an accompanying illustration:

My young dancer [“dressed for a ball”] is wearing a hat whose white satin brim is set with silver Guèle [a certain kind of silk], the headpiece adorned with yellow velvetine arranged in puffs, and above the brim a garland of white roses; a white muslin chemise décolleté set with lace, short pulled-up butterfly sleeves, and a pink shawl of taffeta.



[52] White was long the preferred color of women’s stockings, esp. with the sheer muslin dresses of the time. Around 1803, however, pink or shades of red suddenly became fashionable, colors that, shimmering through the delicate weave of the muslin fabric, were to give the impression of blushing good health. White, however, was the standard color. Silken stockings were considered more elegant than cotton (or wool) and were commensurately more expensive. Back.

[53] Although the Berlin actress Johanna Henriette Meyer is said to have married the Berlin physician Heinrich Meyer in 1802, elsewhere in the spring and summer of 1801 Caroline refers unequivocally to her as “Madam Meyer”; the couple seem to have married at latest by early 1801.

“Crêpe-flor,” a special silk weave, the superior types being made of white Chinese silk. One distinguished between white crepe and black mourning crape. The silk strands were wound in a particular fashion and woven on a gauze weaving loom, the fabric then washed in hot water, causing the weave to wrinkle. Although the fabric was originally made in Bologna, very high quality crêpe was later also made in Switzerland. Caroline is referring to the delicate white crêpe, which was used on dresses and hats. Back.

[54] A word play on Luise Wiedemann’s last name, which in this final spelling (at the time capable of being pronounced homonymously as “Wiedemann” and often rhymed in poetry as such) means essentially “raging man,” “raging person.” Back.

Translation © 2015 Doug Stott